My stove, the “piano gastronome” has arrived and is installed. Naturally, I had to play something. Since I really missed having an oven for the last 2 months, I decided that it should be an oven dish. Normally these pork steaks are awesome on the grill but it’s too cold, the BBQ men aren’t here to light the fire and, hey, I have 3 ovens.
This Lacanche is a beauty! The exhaust hood alone is to die for. The stove top has four regular burners and a fifth covered burner in the center for slow cooking. Top left is a grilling oven, bottom left is an electric oven and top right is the gas oven. Bottom left is a really small storage drawer. Whatever.
I couldn’t decide which oven to try first, so I calmed myself with an Italian Amarone (wonderful black cherry tasting wine from the Valpolicella region) and decided to go with the electric, my least favorite, but I thought it was good time to try it out before the ravenous hordes arrive for the holiday season.
For the last 30 years I have been cosseting and praying over the stoves provided by the State Department. They have not been reliable and require an attentive cook. Not so with my Lacanche. Decide your temperature, decide the length of time and then go webcam someone until the timer goes off. Beautiful, beautiful.
I have to say a word about cooking pork: Old school has it that you should cook it until it’s dry and chewy. The new generation, unafraid of death, believes that “rare is fair”. Non. Just in case trichinosis makes a reappearance, as has tuberculosis, cook the pork until all the pink is gone, but no further. Dry, chewy pork is not worth eating whether roasted or grilled or baked. Moderation in all things.
I decided to give this meal an Asian slant. Spiced, soy sauce marinated pork steaks, wok-ed zucchini and chickpeas with tomato. Be sure to sprinkle the meat with freshly ground star anise just before cooking. Note: If I am making large quantities that require freshly ground spices, I use a dedicated coffee grinder. They are not expensive and get the job done fast.
TURMERIC AND GINGER PORK STEAKS
4 pork steaks
2 inch piece of ginger, minced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2-3 star anise
Place the steaks in a zip lock bag. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl, except for the star anise. Pour the marinade over the meat and squish around until all the steaks’ surfaces are covered. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Remove meat from refrigerator. Grind the star anise and sprinkle it on both sides of the steaks. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast at 425 for 20-30 minutes, depending on the meat’s thickness.
Wine suggestion: Masi Amarone